Is This The Best Shrimp Tank? Aquael Shrimp Set Reviewed!

Shrimp keeping has never been more popular, and with the increasing number of people breeding cherry shrimp, there’s a lot of interest in the various shrimp tanks available.

Newcomers to the shrimp-keeping hobby often seek an all-in-one tank that includes all the necessary accessories to care for their shrimp, making the AquaEl Shrimp Set range a top choice.

As an owner of two Aquael Shrimp Set tanks, I want to share my thoughts and experiences to help you determine if this tank is the best option for your needs.

This Aquael Shrimp Set 30 review focuses on the largest of the three tank sizes since it’s the variant I own, but the same insights should apply to the two smaller options in the range.

Despite a few downsides, I believe this tank is one of the best choices for beginners in the shrimp-keeping market right now.

What’s Included

My aquael shrimp set 30 tank unboxed
My Aquael Shrimp Set 30 Tank Unboxed

The Aquael Shrimp Sets come with all the essential tank accessories beginners need to set up a thriving shrimp tank. Inside the box, you’ll find:

  • Aquarium
  • Light
  • Filter
  • Heater
  • Lid
  • Instructions

While some optional aftermarket upgrades can significantly improve certain tank setups, most beginners will find that the Aquael Shrimp Set provides everything needed for keeping shrimp right out of the box.

In Europe, many people also use the Aquael Shrimp Set for keeping betta fish, so I’ll touch on that as I go through the article. However, my primary focus will be on keeping pet shrimp.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these components.

Aquarium

The Aquarium
The Aquarium

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Well Built

Cons

  • Logo Catches The Eye
  • Some People Don’t Like Cubes

The standout feature of the Aquael Shrimp Set range is the actual aquarium.

These tanks are well-built and ideal for shrimp keeping. Currently, there are three variants, with their dimensions listed in the table below.

Tank SizeDimentions
10 Liters (2.64 US Gallons)20 x 20 x 25cm (7.9 x 7.9 x 9.8 Inches)
20 Liters (5.28 US Gallons)25 x 25 x 30cm (9.8 x 9.8 x 11.8 Inches)
30 Liters (7.92 US Gallons)29 x 29 x 35cm (11.4 x 11.4 x 13.8 Inches)

The price of the sets increases with size, but I highly recommend opting for the medium or large sets for shrimp keeping if possible.

If you plan to keep a betta fish in an Aquael Shrimp Set, the large set is definitely the better choice, although the medium set can work for certain setups.

I use the large size for my planted betta fish tank and my Walstad betta fish tank without any issues.

They are excellent tanks for keeping betta fish, especially in Europe where the selection of aquariums is more limited compared to North America.

White Silicone
White Silicone

Unlike other entry-level tanks that use black silicone, AquaEl uses a white/transparent silicone. This helps keep the focus on your aquascape rather than the tank’s seams.

One downside is the AquaEl logo placed prominently at the front of the tank. However, since the tank is a cube, you can rotate it 90 degrees to use one of the sides as the front, avoiding this issue.

Lid

The Lid
The Lid

Pros

  • Fits Well
  • Small Border Gap

Cons

  • Lid Clips Can Wobble
  • Sometimes Slips Into The Tank

Many entry-level setups don’t include a lid, and I don’t have time to make my own. Knowing these tanks come with a well-fitting glass lid is a significant advantage for both shrimp and betta fish keeping.

Lids are crucial for betta fish as they are known jumpers. Additionally, a tank lid helps retain water and prevent evaporation, reducing the frequency of top-offs needed.

For those looking to keep Taiwan Bee caridina shrimp this is especially valuable as they are far more sensitive than neocaridina shrimp so the fewer water top-offs the better.

The Air Line Tubing Going Into My Betta Tank
The Air Line Tubing Going Into My Betta Tank

As shown in my photograph above, the lid has a small gap around the edge that is just large enough for heater and filter cables or airline tubing for an air-powered filter.

One potential downside of these lids is that the clips can wobble a bit, which can be annoying.

It also took me a while to get used to putting the lid back on after maintenance, as it sometimes slipped off the rim into the tank. However, once you get used to the lid clip system, this doesn’t happen as much.

Lighting

The Included Light
The Included Light

Pros

  • Can Grow Low Light Plants
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Lighting Order Is Wrong
  • No Timer Function

Lighting requirements depend on the specific plans you want to keep, but the default stock light should suffice for most beginners.

I’ve kept most of the featured plants in my article on recommended plants for shrimp tanks using the default stock light without issue.

To give credit where it’s due, the Aquael Leddy stock light in these tanks offers a higher light intensity than most other stock lights I’ve tried.

However, the included stock light is only suitable for plants with low light requirements and some specific plants that fall on the low end of the medium light requirement spectrum.

One thing that annoys me about the stock light is the order of the lighting options. It offers three different settings, but they are not arranged in the most convenient order.

The Adjustable Lighting

My video clip above illustrates what I mean, but the lighting order is as follows:

  1. High-Powered Day Time
  2. Low-Powered Sunrise
  3. Nighttime Blue

I suspect this lighting sequence was chosen to allow people to use socket timers to automate the tank’s photoperiod, automatically turning the light on and off as needed.

Considering this is marketed as a “day and night” aquarium set, it would have been nice to have a timer chip in the lighting unit to offer a 24/7 light cycle, though I understand this would increase costs.

Filtration

The Included Filter
The Included Filter

Pros

  • Suitable For Shrimp
  • Venturi Pump Included
  • Adjustable Flow

Cons

  • May Struggle For Fish
  • Venturi Pump Is Loud
  • Sponge Is Coarse

Filtration is highly customizable, and many people have their preferred methods for filtering their tanks.

The included stock filter is sufficient for a small to medium colony of neocaridina shrimp as they have a low bioload.

Taiwan Bee shrimp typically require an under gravel filter to draw water through aquasoil, which helps buffer the pH of their tank but I don’t recommend Taiwan Bee shrimp for beginners.

If you plan to use this tank for betta fish, I strongly recommend upgrading to a box filter or sponge filter. My article on filters for betta tanks provides more details on this.

The basic version of the filter is easy to set up.

The Basic Filter Setup

Place the sponge at the bottom of the filter and attach the suction cup to the back so you can mount it to the tank glass.

Next, attach the water flow director to the front of the filter and adjust it to direct the water flow as desired.

The filter offers fully adjustable water flow by turning the lever near the water flow director. Rotating it 90 degrees will increase or decrease the flow as needed.

The Filter With The Venturi Pump

Adding the Venturi pump to oxygenate the water is a bit more involved, but I cover the basic setup in my video clip above.

If you have experience with Venturi pumps, you should find it straightforward, but there are detailed step-by-step instructions in the user manual to guide you.

One thing to note is that the Venturi pump can be loud, which may be an issue if you plan to keep your tank in a bedroom or living room where the noise could be disruptive.

Oxygen From The Filter

My video clip above shows the amount of air the Venturi pump can add to your tank. The Venturi pump is optional and I have never used it with my tanks.

A cheap USB air pump with an air stone is a far better option for oxygenation as it’s far quieter.

The main downside of the filter when using it for a shrimp tank is the PPI (Pores Per Inch) of the sponge included with the Aquael Shrimp Set.

The Filter Sponge
The Filter Sponge

The photograph above shows the Aquael Shrimp Set sponge on the left, while the sponge from an AQQA Sponge Filter is on the right.

Although Aquael claims their sponge is shrimp-safe, it is quite coarse. I’m confident that baby shrimplets could get through the foam, end up inside the filter, and get crushed.

If you want to breed shrimp in your tank, upgrade to a cheap sponge filter to prevent this.

Heater

The Included Heater
The Included Heater

Pros

  • Meets Shrimp Heating Needs.

Cons

  • Struggles Above 75F (24C)

The stock heater has a pre-set temperature and usually maintains a water temperature of around 75F (24C).

This is fine for neocaridina and caridina shrimp but Sulawesi Shrimp and betta fish prefer warmer water.

I would recommend the Fluval T50 heater for Sulawesi Shrimp and betta fish but there are plenty of options on the market.

Most people will keep neocaridina shrimp, so the included stock heater will be sufficient. However, neocaridina can often be kept in a tank without a heater.

Can You Breed Shrimp In The Tank?

Yellow Neocaridina Shrimpletts Hiding In Limnophila Sessiliflora
Yellow Neocaridina Shrimpletts Hiding In Limnophila Sessiliflora

Beginners can easily breed cherry shrimp and other Neocaridina shrimp in the tank but caridina shrimp can be more challenging.

Adding moss to your tank is a quick and easy way to keep your shrimp happy and increase the chances of them breeding. Most shrimp love grazing on the algae and biofilm that grow on it, and it provides cover for baby shrimp.

Providing your shrimp with protein can help the females produce viable eggs. I add a few Fluval Bug Bites granules a couple of times a week, and it works well.

Female neocaridina shrimp release a pheromone after molting to signal they are ready to breed.

They typically molt once a month and carry their eggs for about a month, so it might take around two months to see baby shrimp even if everything is set up correctly.

Maintenance Of The AquaEl Shrimp Set Tank

The maintenance depends on your specific setup, but you can easily create a low-maintenance tank.

Some people don’t perform water changes if their ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are within acceptable ranges, but TDS can still build up. I do a partial water change of 10-20% once a week to help remove toxins and manage TDS.

Always add a de-chlorinator to any new tap water, and you may need to add shrimp salts to provide the necessary minerals for healthy molting.

Once a month, I add a small amount of tank water to a bucket and squeeze out the filter foam to remove debris and prevent clogging.

Fast-growing stem plants will require trimming once or twice a month but other than that, it’s a pretty easy setup that doesn’t require much time or effort to maintain.

Does The Aquael Shrimp Set 30 Offer Value For Money?

My Walstad Betta Tank
My Walstad Betta Tank

The Aquael Shrimp Set tanks are a great buy for anyone seeking an all-in-one solution that is almost ready to go straight out of the box.

You will need to cycle the tank after the initial setup before adding your shrimp, but this is true for any new tank setup.

All the included accessories are suitable for shrimp keeping, though some upgrades are available for specific types of shrimp tanks, which I covered earlier in the article.

I wish AquaEl would sell this as a stand-alone tank with just the aquarium and lid, so you’re not locked into the included accessories. However, for those new to keeping shrimp, this is a solid buy.